It was announced on Thursday that Virginia Tech will host the third and final gubernatorial debate on Oct. 24 between candidates Ken Cuccinelli (Rep.) and Terry McAuliffe (Dem.).
The two will face off in Squires’ Haymarket Theatre in a panel style debate sponsored by Virginia Tech and WDBJ-7. Just 12 days before the Nov. 5 election, it will be the last opportunity the candidates have to face off.
Though the details are still being worked on, WDBJ-7 announced it will produce and broadcast the event along with WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C.
The latest poll data from the Washington Post/Abt-SRBI poll released Monday showed McAuliffe leading Cuccinelli 47 to 39 percent. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis is holding 10 percent of the poll, and may be key to deciding the election.
On campus, student organizations are gearing up to campaign for their respective candidates.
Joseph Degreenia, president of the College Republicans at Tech, hopes students will come out to get to know the candidates for more than just their campaign tactics.
“The debate gives students a unique opportunity to get to know the candidates beyond the sound bites and mail pieces,” he said.
“This is a critical election for many students. They are choosing the type of job market they want to enter,” Degreenia said.
Andrew Whitley, president of the Young Democrats at Tech, said that the debate being held in Blacksburg shows the importance of the New River Valley region in the upcoming election.
“It highlights the importance of Tech’s campus and Blacksburg in the election,” Whitley said. “They didn’t do it at UVA or a Northern Virginia college. They came to Blacksburg.”
Last year, a similar event was held when Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen faced off in a debate for the Senate seat.